Sunday, November 11, 2007

BOOK: Gods and Monsters by Christopher Bram

Gods & Monsters by Christopher Bram

Books to Movies Challenge

originally titled Father of Frankenstein

I haven't seen this movie yet, but I remember when it was nominated for a few Academy Awards, back in 1997. I don't actually see a lot of movies, so it isn't surprising. Bram tells the story of James Whale, director of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Set in 1957, Whale is retired by now, and recovering from a stroke. He is getting mixed up in his head, past and present, and looking for a way out. He forms an unlikely friendship with his gardener, Clay Boone, a white trash he-man who is put off a bit by Whale's homosexuality, and yet fascinated by the famous director at the same time.

Bram took the true basis of Whale's life and built a world of what the last few weeks of his life may have been like, based on the available information. He provides an afterward to my paperback edition to explain what was true, and what was conjecture - Boone is completely fictional. The look at Hollywood in the thirties and forties, even the glamourous fifties, with lots of name dropping, and the background and filming of some of the movies, and the interesting friendship between Boone and Whale made this an interesting read. Bram is obviously a fan of the old horror movies, and his love and respect comes through. It also shows how the effects of war are life lasting, as Whale descends in his mind back to the trenches of World War I. Rather touching for today, Remembrance Day.


  1. I've never even heard of this before, book or movie! But it sounds fascinating. I am a huge '30s horror movie fan and I definately need to read this.

  2. I know I saw this movie and while I think I liked it, it obviously didn't make much of an impact. I totally forget the Frankenstein connection, when judging by your synopsis, seems to have been a pretty major part. Oh well.

  3. nicola - If you like 30s horror, you would like this. A lot of the movie info is based on real events.

    john - I kept thinking about Ed Wood instead of this movie while I was reading this. It was really a character study of the two men, but Frankenstein would have been a big part.

  4. The book sounds much better than the movie was.

  5. kookie - I take it you didn't like the movie.

  6. I've added this to the Book to Movie listing. Doesn't sound like my kind of book though.

  7. I've always wanted to see the movie, never even knew there was a book.


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